News hijacking is a practice of utilizing a news story for a personal benefit; it lies in giving an immediate response to any news that may not be related to your clients or customers. For example, an accurate response to the reporters about an industry’s announcement or research work on the right time will create an impact on the audiences.
Several news websites will highlight the comments in a unique color–any small or large business industry can take this opportunity to build the customer’s attention. Ensure the comment is given as soon as the news is announced–stick to the topic and be brief on your message–never comment about the topics that you may not sure about.
Some of the news hijacking PR techniques
Create Google alerts
Creating Google alerts can help you to get instant updates on the news that is related to your industry by choosing “as-it-happens” code. The alert sends a direct email to the person on the chosen topic; you can enter any topic that you want to get notifications and choose when you want to receive notification, your desired language, from which location you want notifications, count of results you want to receive and your account information. You can edit any of the alerts which you have created or remove the particular alert.
Give a counter response
News hijacking happens instantly when the news breaks–the spokesman or content marketer should offer the comments on the right time before others can take your chance. The comments should have the perfect call to action to reach your targeted customers. News hijacking should not be followed every time, ensure you use this PR tool at the right moment that can be favorable for your business.
Give short comment with high business value
The comments should be brief and relevant to the news story; think how the news can relate to your business before building the message. Short comments can reach audience faster and also bring new customers to your business.
Have a friendly relation with the PR agency or news outlet, so it will make them trust your opinions when breaking news befalls. It also assists in gaining new customer approvals and draws the relevant audiences towards your business.
Include targeted keywords
To obtain search engine visibility for your comments, ensure you include the relevant and targeted keywords at right instances to improve the search rankings. If you are using news hijacking PR tool to promote your brand, it is good to use the industrial relevant keywords that also match with the news story–generally, keywords increase the search rankings and help to find your business online.
How can news hijacking be done rightly?
The news hijacking needs a constructive planning for the perfect execution. The following step by step instructions can guide you in leveraging this excellent PR tool.
• Have an access to the spokesman or the journalist to plan their calendar and provide them the instant message when the news breaks.
• Cover the story with the suitable comment that can also enable the others who have covered the story earlier to follow yours.
• Find the real-time tools that find the audience interests to create the comment that reaches your customers.
• Verify whether the news story matches your business; find the level of percentage it relates your business profile.
• Discover the type of websites visited by your audiences and plan how to make the content shareable, interactive and engaging for the visitors.
• Create a unique cultural calendar which helps you to know the cultural events that are suitable for your brand.
• Before giving the comment, find in which way the event or news story are related to your brand.
How to frame a news hijacking strategy
Every work requires a well-defined strategy framed after a series of brainstorming stages; here are some of the unknown tips to start the right news hijacking process that can be beneficial for your business.
Keep yourself updated:
• Every day a new event or incident occurs in your targeted area that is expected to turn into a news story. To know all upcoming news stories, you should keep yourself updated with the news alerts available on the internet.
• A news story may be part of different categories, but your attention should be both in the industry focused news websites and websites related to your audience interests. If your audiences are interested in celebrity news, you can follow the celebrity news website and also follow the national news; before hijacking a news story, you should verify its authenticity in other news websites.
Hijack the news by knowing its extremity:
• You cannot hijack news story of a national disaster or death of a leader–this news will not play a role in your business promotion. For instance, you can take advantage of the announcements made by the major brands where they have disclosed the absence of particular feature which your business may own.
Know your competition:
• Many content marketers or business spokesman will be ready to find new ways in hijacking the story; you may compete with many people, so be instant with your comment, but stay relevant to the topic.
Have a connection with the news story:
• Trying to connect the news story with your brand will not bring expected benefits; Understanding audience interests will help you to cover the topic that your customer may follow. The comment should have some connection to the topic; trying to give a comment on a news story that is harder to convince the audience will not draw their attention.
Make your comments positive:
• More than the relevancy, news hijacking should be informative and positive for the audience especially if you’re commenting the national disaster or tragedy.
A business promoting tool:
• Creating brand visibility requires the sound SEO strategy that aims to make your business visible in search engine results page. News hijacking may also be an effective tool in creating customer engagement when it is used wisely.
Examples of failure news hijacking:
• When Hurricane Sandy news breaks, many clothing brands promoted their business, but hijacking a national disaster had not won many customers to them. Being intelligent in choosing the right news story can secure you from the potential pitfalls.
Unknown facts about news hijacking
• Today people are attentive to traditional online marketing strategies, many brands are taking control of the audience by experimenting different methods; one of the powerful tools, which had impacted the audience, is news hijacking–it is effective PR tool some of the related examples are guerilla PR and ambush advertising.
• News Hijacking enables the marketers to associate themselves with the event or the news story that is known by your audience; this method requires no standard payment or fees, no contracts unless you tied a partnership with the PR agency.
• This method may assist in expanding your business reach, but knowing its sensitivity will help in reaping outlasting benefits in news hijacking; it is important to avoid being ignored in the trail by following some creative methods which are rightly been implemented by the following industries who are spontaneous but planned to perfection.
Examples of successful news hijacking
• Spirit Airlines chooses the email marketing strategy to draw its customers; the company has decided to make the subject lines based on the Congress riffs news story which was popular at that time. The headline seems to be irrelevant, but it touched the audience interests.
• Spirit has also tried its news hijacking talents in some of the famous events like Petraeus scandal, NFL replacement and more.
• The national football league tried their hands in promotions by blogging in media channels; once it hijacked the announcement of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s baby with the blog post covering the royal names of NFL.
Save the children
• When sandy hook incident had affected the minds of parents, save the children–a nonprofit organization took the initiative to help the children of US and provide the valuable assistance for the incident along with a relevant blog post.
• Leveraging tragedy or negative stories to build positive impact among audience will help to create trust towards your brand; many brands had experienced failure in making in taking right decisions over the daily news – knowing the mistake of others will help in doing it right.
• The content marketers or the company’s spokesman should balance both time and relevancy of using their brand name in the daily news, trying to be unique by touching the sensitivity of the topic will gain the audience attention.
Advantages of news hijacking
News hijacking process makes your brand to experience higher conversions rate. When compared with usual content created on a daily basis for organic search ranking, the news hijacking may help in obtaining more traffic than the others. The number of people searching for your services is not as the same number of people who are looking for the trending factors. But with news hijacking, you can draw all your targeted audience by combining both the trending news along with your brand’s call to action
Creating reputation among the audience is a tough job among the business people, but with news hijacking, you can make your company renown among your customers and you may find a chance to get interviewed by the media outlets. There is nothing more than being quoted by a reputed news media in front of your audience–many believe news hijacking may bring more productive results than the paid advertising campaign.
Social media engagement
One of the best advantage in news hijacking is it creates social media engagement because people follow you in social media when you leverage the trending news in the best way; it builds the conversations and reaches many audiences virally. If you are talking about the news which has affected their lives, they also want to talk about it.
It exhibits the importance of your business
News hijacking tells the audience why your business matters for them; everyone starts a business to benefit the customers in one way or the other, it doesn’t matter in which field you are serving people. You may serve people with finest products or services, but news hijacking shows your audience that you are not only for selling something, rather it shows that you are a part of the social well-being and you truly stand on your point.
Disadvantages of News Hijacking
It’s all about timing
News hijacking will actually work for a short time period; if you hijack a fresh news story, the audience may not be aware of it, so you may lose their attention and if you hijack the older news, they may be forgotten the news long back, so it may look irrelevant.
Do not sell
Failures in news hijacking are very common among the business people; the major mistake done by them is trying to sell their product or service. When trying to create a positive impact on the audience with this process, you may not give a link that redirects to a sales web page instead you can give the link of biography or blog which can convince the audience to choose your product or service.
Trying to sell something through news hijacking may fail in creating impressions among the customers. Sometimes the news hijacking may lose if your content looks offensive–an opinion should not turn as a criticism of the event, as it may create a bad reputation.
The news hijacking process is an old method followed by the public relation professionals, but now the industries have chosen the effective tool by taking the advantage of the news story by leveraging the strategies of content marketing. By avoiding the potential drawbacks, the news hijacking can be effectively implemented by the people; when someone disagrees with your point on the social media, comment back to create a positive impact. The disagreement in social media will create more attention among the audience, but you should be clear on your point.